If you want to avoid seeing the most expensive homes first or you want to check out homes for sale by the owner with no agent, prequalify yourself for a mortgage. To do this, type “mortgage calculators” into any search engine. Look at several to get an idea of how they work. You want to find one that allows you to figure out how much you can borrow without someone calling to sell you a loan. If you are asked to give personal information, go to another website.
One website that has good information without requiring any identifying information from you is www.mortgage-calc.com. This site is also helpful in finding local rates. Click on your local area (state and city) and you will get a list of lenders and their current rates. When you find one you like, type in several interest rates to see the payment differences. Since you do not know yet exactly what your rate will be, this will help you come up with a range of affordable prices. Also, see if you can possibly afford a less than thirty-year loan.
This calculator even compares the costs of buying and renting. If you have never owned a home, this could be helpful. Many people simply compare the mortgage payment with their rent. There are many other expenses to home ownership, such as taxes, insurance, and maintenance.